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Omi’s Poppyseed Cake
A light and airy cake packed with ground poppyseed and finished with a delicious chocolate coating.
While I’d love to take credit for this recipe, full kudos goes to my grandmother, whom we affectionately call Omi. Her poppyseed cake might just be her tour-de-force, and certainly it’s famous in our family. My grandmother came from the Czechoslovakia, but her small home town was closer to Budapest than Prague. So many of the dishes she prepared for us had more Hungarian than Czech influence. Lucky for me, the Hungarians happen to be rather awesome bakers (I’m still trying to nail the perfect beigli walnut roll, stay tuned).
You need to use ground not whole poppyseeds for this recipe, and they can be a little tricky to track down. I ended up finding them here online. If you have a powerful blender or coffee grinder, you can even grind them fresh yourself. Do not be tempted to substitute whole seeds or the canned poppy filling- neither of those will work right.
The granny smith apples are part of the hidden secret of this cake, adding a mild sweetness and keeping it moist. But, you can see large strands of grated apple in the finished cake. If you prefer, you can grate them on the smallest setting of the grater to make them a little less obvious, the taste will still be grate/great.
Omi's Hungarian Style Poppyseed Cake
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 5 eggs, separated
- 2 cups ground poppyseeds (about 9oz or 250g)
- 2 large granny smith apples, peeled and grated
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup apricot jam
- 10 oz chocolate chips (about 250g)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Line the bottom of a 9" or 10" round baking pan or springform with greaseproof paper, and grease the sides, then set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350f/180c.
- In a bowl, combine half of the sugar with the egg white, then whisk/beat until soft peas form. Set aside.
- Combine the remaining sugar with the egg yolks, and beat until yolks are pale and aerated, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the poppyseeds, apple, flour, baking powder and oil. Mix until well combined.
- Add a small amount of the egg whites to the poppy mixture, and fold through with a spatula. When mostly combined, gently fold through the remaining whites.
- Gently scrape the mixture into the baking pan, and place into the oven to cook for 40 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake should come out clean when the cake is ready. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Invert the cooled cake onto a rack or serving plate, and peel back and discard the parchment paper.
- Melt the apricot jam in a small saucepan to loosen the consistency, then use a pastry brush to brush the top and sides of the cake with jam.
- Place the chocolate chips and butter in a microwave safe bowl, and melt in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring each time. It should take 2-3 minutes total to melt depending on the strength of your microwave.
- Gently spread the chocolate mixture over the top and sides of the cake, and allow to set for 20 minutes before serving.
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